White Sox’ A.J. Pierzynski catches speeding ticket on way to game
March 2, 2011 11:00PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The original story coming out of the clubhouse was better, that a Cubs-fan police officer gave A.J. Pierzynski — wearing his full uniform — a speeding ticket on his way to the White Sox’ spring-training game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Turns out the cop who ticketed the Sox catcher for going 75 mph in a 65 zone on Interstate 10 said nothing of the sort, but “if it’s clear in the paper that it did not come from me, you can go ahead and run that,” Pierzynski said. “I’ve never been pulled over in my uniform and given a ticket. Full uni was interesting. So I loved it when he said, ‘Oh, you play for the White Sox?’ I said, ‘How did you guess?’ Figure it out.”
Pierzynski’s afternoon didn’t improve during the Sox’ 7-6 loss, their third defeat in as many Cactus League games. He tapped out to the pitcher’s mound, struck out and grounded to second before walking.
“Apparently, I was going too fast on the highway trying to get here, trying to get prepared for the game,” he said. “I wasn’t in a good mental state for this game. Thank God I was only DHing.”
Pierzynski was driving from the Sox’ complex in Glendale to the Reds’ park in Goodyear. It’s a 15-minute drive.
“He said, ‘You know why I pulled you over?’ I said, ‘No, but . . . I have a good idea, I guess. I was trying to get to the game so I won’t be late. I play for the White Sox.’
“He said, ‘Yeah, license and registration. See you later.’ ”
So much for the catcher catching a break.
“No,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘He never portrayed I had any chance of getting out of it, so I didn’t even try. I knew I was in trouble. Oh, well, what can you do?’’
The story was broken on Twitter by manager Ozzie Guillen.
“Whit the uniform on thas funny arizona polices are awesome lol,’’ Guillen tweeted. “Please policeman be nice and send insurance card back to aj. Is a good kid he only have like 223 tickets in his live lol lol’’
Guillen got a good laugh out of the whole thing.
“I can’t believe people hate A.J. like that,’’ Guillen said. “When you’re in a uniform, you’d think you’d get a break.”
Edwin Jackson kept the string alive, logging two hitless innings to start the game after Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle each faced the minimum six batters in their first outings the previous two days. Jackson struck out Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey to open the game.
He walked one in each inning and didn’t allow a hit.
“You get out there, and you still have to battle for a position, still keep the same mind-set,’’ Jackson said. “I don’t want to look lackadaisical.’’